Oil prices in New York stabilized Tuesday, but European crude sank again after a Kuwait official said OPEC would not take emergency actions to stop prices from falling.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for January delivery tacked on two cents to $55.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That snapped four straight days of declines.
European benchmark Brent oil for January delivery fell $1.20 to $59.86 a barrel in London.
Earlier the US benchmark fell as low as $53.60 a barrel.
Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities, said the WTI rebound from lows reflected understanding the "oil will soon strike a balance" after a fall of about 50 percent since June as crude supplies have increased while demand growth has slowed.
Analysts were also looking ahead to the weekly release of US crude inventories Wednesday, which is expected to show a decline in stockpiles.
The drop in Brent followed remarks from Kuwait oil minister Ali al-Omair that offered little hope for a shift in strategy from Middle East Producers who have tacitly supported lower prices.
Oil prices have fallen sharply following a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries last month against cutting production.
"At OPEC's meeting in November, we took two decisions," Omair said.
"The first was to keep the production ceiling unchanged and the second to hold the next meeting in June. So far, nothing has changed and there are no calls for holding an emergency meeting," Omair said.